Those College Brochures

College Brochures, University Brochures, College Brochure

All highly selective colleges — not just Penn — encourage unqualified students to apply. It’s par for the course.

Has your home been inundated of late with college brochures? If so, we encourage you to use them to keep the fireplace going this winter. On second thought, they may not be ideal for your fireplace as they’re often quite glossy. But our point should be clear. College brochures are meaningless. Parents often say to us, “Penn wants my son!” And then we ask what leads them to make this statement. “They have been sending him tons of brochures. They love him.” Uh huh.

While it’s essentially one of our mantras on this college admissions blog — heck, we wrote about it yesterday — highly selective colleges like Penn want students to apply, even unqualified students. It makes no difference to Penn or any other highly selective college if a student they’re denying admission has a 32 ACT score or a 24 ACT score. Your son’s application to Penn increased their total number of applications and invariably lowered their admission rate, an important factor in the “US News & World Report” college rankings.

College brochures should by no means be any indication to a parent (or student) that a college is interested in admitting them. It’s only an indication they’re interested in you applying. Which we know is quite a bit less satisfying. But it is the truth. If you can’t handle the truth, jump for joy every time a college brochure appears in the mailbox. We believe students and parents should get excited about certain things in the college admissions process — like when they get into a great school. We’re all about celebration at Ivy Coach. Receiving a college brochure just isn’t cause for celebration in our book.

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